Since companies have worked out that healthy, happy employees are more productive employees, there’s been a rush to emphasise the concept of wellness for businesses all over the world. Corporate wellness programmes are now vital to businesses that want to ensure their workforce is both physically and mentally happy and healthy – but there’s still one obstacle that many companies are trying to overcome. How can you convince your employees to actually participate in wellness programmes?
Of course, there are certain individuals who will need no encouragement to take advantage of healthy snacks, discounted gym memberships and other corporate wellness perks. But what about those members of staff who aren’t interested in fitness and don’t eat a healthy diet? How can companies motivate and inspire them to become healthier?
The answer lies in tech
It seems one of the best ways to encourage workers to take their health seriously is to equip them with wearable technology in the form of fitness trackers. These simple wristbands measure everything from step counts to sleep quality, and can be a fantastic motivating factor in helping staff to engage with a corporate wellness programme.
Some of the most popular fitness tracker brands on the market are:
- Fitbit – the market leader. Fitbit offer a range of different trackers in a variety of price bands, so there’ll be an option for every budget. The Fitbit Charge 2 is the most advanced tracker on the market right now, with a snazzy OLED display and a variety of features. The Fitbit Flex is a great entry-level fitness tracker that is cheap enough to purchase for a large workforce.
- Samsung – the tech giants have also ventured into wearable technology with the Gear Fit range. These devices sync effortlessly with Android tablets and smartphones, for easy tracking of performance, activity and fitness goals.
- Microsoft – the Microsoft Band 2 is also a highly advanced device, with incredibly sophisticated sensors, including a gyroscope, GPS, an ambient light sensor and a skin temperature gauge.
- Jawbone – the Jawbone UP3 has impressive battery life of up to a week, and it’s one of the cheapest fitness trackers out there.
These are just some examples of the options available. Now, let’s take a look at how these advanced devices can actually lead to enhanced wellness in the workplace.
The benefits of fitness trackers for wellness at work
First of all, fitness trackers create a sense of awareness and accountability among your staff. Perhaps some of them don’t realise that their lifestyle is unhealthy. Maybe they need to see their step counts and calorie intake in black and white on their new LED screen in order to comprehend that they could make some improvements. By providing these statistics to all of your staff, no one can claim ignorance about the state of their health any longer.
Fitness trackers also come with a unique social aspect. Many of them offer the ability to share results and performance statistics on social media, creating a sense of friendly rivalry and competition among employees. Some companies have taken this one step further – high amounts of physical activity or sustained periods of healthy weight loss are rewarded with incentives such as discounted food at work or free gifts to celebrate achievements.
Uniting staff members in a common goal is a great way to create vital bridges between the various departments in a company. When employees from the finance department are sharing recipes with workers from marketing, and when staff from HR are comparing statistics with the sales team, you’re creating more of a team-oriented environment which can lead to better collaboration across the board. We’ve even heard of groups of staff taking part in marathons and other fitness challenges together as a result of their new-found interest in adopting a healthy lifestyle.
One of the key benefits of emphasising a healthy lifestyle for all employees is the effect it can have on mental health. Depression, anxiety and other conditions which affect wellbeing can all be improved with exercise and a good diet. It can’t be overstated how important it is for companies all over the world to start taking care of their workforce’s mental health.
These are just the benefits for your staff members as individuals. The effect of fitness trackers can have wide-ranging effects across your entire business. As staff become healthier and happier, they become more productive, which directly affects your bottom line.
Some companies have also started to leverage the information collected by fitness trackers in order to negotiate better deals on health insurance for staff members. Employees are given discounts on their healthcare packages if they can show that they’re striving to be healthier, offering even more of an incentive to get active and eat a balanced diet.
The challenges of fitness trackers in the workplace
Of course, there are a number of challenges which companies face when they’re implementing these fitness trackers as part of a wellness scheme. The initial cost of buying the gadgets can be hard for many companies to justify – especially because wellness and having a healthy workforce are not things that can be accurately measured in terms of ROI. The benefits of fitness trackers can be rather indirect – after all, job satisfaction and a happy, loyal workforce is not something that can be quantified.
Then there are issues with privacy. Some employees might not want to share their most personal data with their bosses. However, some fitness tracker manufacturers (Fitbit and Jawbone, for example) offer unique privacy agreements for corporate wellness programmes, where employers aren’t able to access information about individuals. They can see progress and results across the whole company, but they are not allowed to access the personal information of specific employees.
Here at the wellness culture, we believe companies shouldn’t let the challenges of introducing fitness trackers detract from the exciting benefits they offer. For more information about corporate wellness, explore cloud9.sg and get in touch with the cloud9 team today!